Thursday, August 20, 2009

On Dealing With Jackasses Opinions--Turn the Idiots Off!

Back in the mid-90’s I was officially a Republican. A liberal Republican but a Republican just the same—and I had been for nearly 20 years (at least officially).

Republicans were Liberal & Democrats were Radical
I became a Republican in Grad school when the Democrats in my district just got too damn socialistically liberal for me (envision how liberal Democrats in a district mainly populated by a university, its students and faculty can be). So I switched.

The Republicans of this district were actually plenty liberal for me and had the added advantage of being fiscally conservative. Let’s put it this way, this district’s Republicans were “pro-choice” and because my research and thesis dealt with the topic I was always the designated speaker on this issue.

Bailing Out
I bailed out of the Republican Party in the 1995 election (the election for Clinton’s 2nd term). It was mainly because this district and county organization in Iowa was reflective of the tone of the party. It had gotten mean. And narrow. And insulting to anyone who did not agree. I remember getting up at the County Convention (after already having been elected as a delegate to the State Convention) and leaving, never to return.

The reason was the abject homophobia of one of the primary issue speakers who said that homosexual teachers, scout leaders, etc. should be harassed, outed and embarrassed so that they would quit their roles or jobs in order to keep them from “recruiting” our kids for their agenda. And he introduced a resolution calling for a law which would endorse this position and prohibit homosexuals from these positions either paid or volunteer.

I was appalled. I got up and left. I dropped my credentials in the garbage. I found my son, 14 at the time, who was participating in the “youth” convention and told him he could stay or leave, it was up to him. He stayed and I respected his decision. But, I haven’t looked back. Neither have I had any inclination to 2nd guess my decision to officially return to my more liberal roots.

So, where am I heading with this drivel? From that time onward I had little concern for anything that most conservatives would utter or publish or broadcast. I paid attention because I’ve always been politically aware and involved and you have to have knowledge of both sides.

Fast Forward to Today
But I don’t need the crap. In fact, I don’t need the crap from either side. When I encounter something like Rush Limbaugh’s “Uranus” quote from yesterday, I ignore it. I don’t need the crap. By the same token, I really don’t know what type of garbage Glenn Beck, Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs or Bill O’Reilly are spewing because I don’t pay attention to them. Why should I? They’re jackasses.

And on the other side of the coin I don’t really pay attention to Maureen Dowd, Bill Moyers, Chris Matthews, James Carville or Rachael Maddow. Their’s is just crap from a different perspective.

You see, I’ve got this thingy with buttons on it called a “remote control”. I use it! If I use it to stop at Fox News it’s for a pause to see what kind of ludicrous drivel is being spouted now. I do the same for Jon Stewart (although the pause is longer—sometimes for 5 or 10 minutes because he’s genuinely funny.

I don’t need that level of aggravation. What’s going on in our world is aggravating enough. But I prefer “straight news”. I don’t need the filter of a commentator—of a “talking head”. I can assimilate the information on my own, thank you.

Consequently, I feel no need to rant and rail against what poison the a-holes are spewing now. And I feel no compulsion to engage in acrimonious debate with impassioned adherents of either spectrum. I just kind of smile and move on.

I lived in the Upper Midwest or 30 years. There’s an old saying there: “Don’t get in a wrestling contest with a hog. You get all muddy and the hog likes it.”

Turn 'Em Off!
So, just turn the jerks off—whatever opinion you define a being jerky. When you do that, there will be no need to respond in kind to all the idiots and lunacy that passes for political insightfulness. There will be no need to publish asinine remarks like “Robert Novak is Dead, Yay!”

I find the “neo-Cons” to be repulsive. But I advocate my own agenda. I don’t try to counter theirs. (Think of the times you’ve been in a dispute with your spouse and you say, “Yeah, but…” Guess what? As soon as you say that, you’ve lost. You’re done. You’re toast.) I just don’t need the aggravation and consternation.

Stay above the crap. Just turn it off. Go to the source of the news rather than let some “talking head” digest it for you. Ignore any story with a screen crawl saying “breaking news” or “developing news” because it isn’t.

And guess what? If enough of us turn the idiots off, they'll lose viewers and ratings points. They'll lose sponsors and advertisers. They'll be OFF the air!

It’s like my Father used to say (usually in the midst of ending an argument with me as a teen), “Opinions are like asses. Everybody has one.”

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